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Livestream AMA
Dragon
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37 / M
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Posted 11/3/14
MakotoKamui here.. I'm one of several mods that handles most of the livestreams hosted by CR. I'm sure many of you noticed that the interface was updated for this latest con, and I wanted to take a moment to talk with everyone about how the streams work. After all, we have the rules posted on every stream, but we often don't get to say why we made those, or how they're enforced.

So this is something of an open thread - ask us about the streams, the rules, etc. Why are we so down on phone numbers, for example? If you're curious about anything related to the streams, post below. I'll try to respond to this at least daily, and encourage other mods who take part in the streams to do so as well. What the rules mean, why we enforce them, how we enforce them, complaints, suggestions.. all fair game. And no, I won't stream ban you for anything you post here.

If you have a question that you'd prefer not to have associated with your username, feel free to PM me. I'll post it here under my name with the answer for you, and PM back the link to the response.

I hope to leave this open for 2 weeks or so, after which it'll be closed, but still readable for archives.
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22 / M / New York
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Posted 11/3/14 , edited 11/3/14
Cookies?
Dragon
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37 / M
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Posted 11/4/14 , edited 11/9/14

tf2pyros wrote:

Cookies?


I'll see what I can do

[5 days pass..]

Seriously, nothing? No complaints, feature requests, questions on rules? If not, I'll go ahead and close this early.

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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 11/9/14 , edited 11/9/14
It's okay dragon mod-san



When's the next livestream?
Dragon
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37 / M
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Posted 11/10/14 , edited 11/10/14

pandrasb wrote:

When's the next livestream?


Actually, I'm not sure! We might be done for the year, which is part of why I wanted to do this now - since we were coming up on at least a short break, so it's a good time to revise the rules and look for feature requests. ETA - it also gives us a chance to talk in a much longer format - most of the time we have to be pretty short in our warnings/explanations in the stream, which is kind of annoying for everyone, I bet.

I did get a couple of PM's about the streams over the past week, which I'll be paraphrasing just to make sure it's not obvious who they're from.

---

First up, a person who ended up getting a ban, then was creating alt accounts that kept getting banned in turn for similar rule breaking. Luckily, they were using similar names, so I was able to contact them and explain what was going on. That was back before the rules were posted on the stream page itself, and part of the reason we do that now.

The rules themselves are all based on the forum rules, though, which do include no making alts. That said, we have to enforce them slightly differently than just how the site rules read - for one, the stream is live, so it's not something we can wait for reports on or anything (that's also part of why livestream bans don't carry over into the site itself, though). It's also super simple for us to unban, so if things are getting out of hand in the stream, as they often do, we do start handing out bans faster and faster. Sometimes people get caught up "in the moment", so a brief time out (which forces someone to read the rules to find out how to get back in) sometimes helps.

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Next, someone who was posting little factoids to the stream, and was banned after people were complaining about it. This is a tough one, to be perfectly honest. During quiet times, we do often get people starting random conversations, and even when people are on the camera they'll field lots of questions about their favorite series, if they like manga, etc.

In this particular case, the factoids weren't conversation starters or anything, or even related to anime/manga/what was being discussed at the time - it was just one car fact after another, and other chatters found that to be disruptive. The stream is something of a shared party, so interjecting unrelated stuff like that does seem a bit intentionally off topic, and they were (briefly) banned. I think it'd be great if we had dedicated chat for various aspects of the site (general, car chat, etc) just so people can hang out and share facts like that. For now, something in General or Extended Discussion about weird facts, or a forum game where you have to guess if the above post is true/false, then post your own "fact" would be cool.

Even pointing out weird/interesting facts occasionally in the stream is fine! But just like most things, doing it over and over with no other discussion disrupts the flow and annoys others on both sides of the camera. If you're unsure if you're about to start on something good, a rule of thumb might be to drop a line, and see if others pick it up. Phrase it as a question to start?

Again, it's all about balance, so don't just start off by spamming factoids (or other things) over and over. Test the waters to start, see how others in the room feel

---

That's it for this group, hopefully that clears some questions that others had as well. If you have more, please keep them coming!
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Posted 11/10/14
Are there any future advancements a live stream could offer?
Dragon
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Posted 11/10/14

onibrotonel wrote:

Are there any future advancements a live stream could offer?


A very good question, and something I hope others can bring up here! We mods have made suggestions to the dev team in the past, and some things have been added recently, others (like the automatic word filter) we're asking to have removed.

Most of the recent changes have been mod requests - like the ability to say something to a single user (like a warning about rules), having our names show up in a different color from both free and paid users in the chat, or the ability to say something in a banner that is obviously different than all other chat text. They also added in text to say when / who banned a user, and banned users now see a message about that, rather than just being told to log in like they were in the past.

But those are things we mods asked for - I'm hoping to hear more about what would make it better from a user's point of view. I'm not on the dev team, I'm just a mod, but the dev team has been improving the experience, so I hope we can present them with a list of future items as well.
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Posted 11/10/14 , edited 11/10/14
That's it? That's like the features of an old CR chat.

Would be nice to upload pictures for other people, on the opposite side, of the live stream to see.

Or actually draw while doing a live stream. Like the ones they do when sportscaster explain a play with pen markers that appear on live tv.
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26 / M / Houma
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Posted 11/10/14


That's a cool feature but with certain people around we can't have nice things.
Dragon
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Posted 11/10/14 , edited 11/10/14
Given that most streams have at least a few dozen users in the chat at any given time, any sort of on-screen drawing seems right out - the entire screen would be filled very quickly, and then you couldn't see the cosplayers on the other side. And, as Balzak says, given some of the users around, we really couldn't allow it anyway. Difficult enough to keep the ascii penis art off the chat, and at least there we see usernames attached to each...

And, got some more questions!

---

Why are you so down on phone numbers, Facebooks, Instagrams, etc?

Mostly, we're down on personal contact info being shared - and we're trying to solve this for on-camera folks as well, with posters saying what they don't have to share if they don't want to, even if asked repeatedly.

Basically, we don't want to encourage stalking (and yes, we have had people specifically say "Okay, fellow stalkers, time to look up..."). But, some people are fine with sharing at least fan pages and such, so the balance we've tried here is - it's okay to share public pages (Facebook fan pages, etc) where the person has to accept you before you can talk to them. Phone numbers are a lot harder to block people from using, so we tend to shut those down pretty hard.

No matter what, we'd prefer that the sharing stops when the person who shared it leaves the camera. It was their choice to share, and that closes when they step away.

From the chat side, it's pretty much the same. If you want to share your FB fan page, that's cool. But if you post a phone number, for example, we have no idea if that's yours, an ex's that you want revenge on, a phone sex line, or anything else, and we'd really prefer that you not do that kind of thing.

Best rule of thumb - fan pages or other, similar stuff that the person has to accept you on (including CR) only, and only so long as the person is there to share.

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How do I know whether or not my request for the cosplayers do do something is appropriate or not? What would be a good rule of thumb for this?

The biggest rule would probably be - does it involve another person? If so, it's best not to request it. Remember, a lot of anime fans are quite shy, and don't like being touched, either by strangers or in public. On camera, where they're trying to share their love of anime, when they get a ton of requests to kiss, hug, etc a person next to them (who they may not even know), that can make them extremely uncomfortable. Or, they might be standing next to someone who is more outgoing, and willing to listen to such requests.. so they get a hug, or a kiss, or whatever from that person, and they never want to come back to the camera, or possibly the con, again.

Also, don't ask for things that intentionally might show off undergarments and such. Showing armpits or shaved knees, etc, a lot of things are pretty obviously ways of peeking, and it's quite rude. And if you don't understand what something is asking for, it's probably best not to repeat it..

Along similar lines, don't ask them to interact physically with the camera. CR staff are there, and if the camera is pointed in a wrong direction, or could be improved, it's their job to do so, not the people who happen to be on camera. Best bet here would be to ask the people on camera to ask the CR staff to do an adjustment, and they'll handle things from there.

Some people ask for extremely over the top things, like backflips, or things that have traditionally made someone look stupid for following any order given, like put your shoe on your head. These I also consider pretty rude, but since they're so out there, I don't think anyone bans for as often as stuff like the commands that get you a peek under shirts or interaction type orders.

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If I do end up on the camera side of the livestream, would it be safe to give the name of my Crunchyroll account to the people typing?

Sure, if you want! I would recommend against giving out much information that could be used to personally track you down (like a phone number), but sharing your CR username can be fun, unless your username is easily linked to your real name. If I'm ever on camera, I will share mine, but that's a personal choice, and we should also respect that some people aren't comfortable sharing even that much info. We also still ask that people not repeat those after the person that shared it goes off camera, just to be polite.

Also, if you're trying to share something on camera, it's easiest to write it down on paper or an index card or something and hold that near the camera. Holding up a phone makes the camera flare to full brightness, and it usually doesn't auto-adjust or finish focusing by the time the phone's screen auto shuts off. Because of the about 5-7 second chat delay, and the fact that when someone is holding their contact info to the camera they're blocking the screen showing the chat, this can lead to a back and forth of "show it" "didn't see it" "try again" and so on.

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How does Crunchyroll decide which cons to set up livestreams at? What factors do they take into account?

That, unfortunately, I can't answer completely. They do try to stream at every con they have a booth at, and my best guess is that they try to set up at all the major cons, but balance it with the travel/setup/booth costs. So a con in San Francisco is likely quite high on the list, as are places like A-Kon, AX, etc, but a booth at PAX is less likely.

Some cons, though, are out of the question. Yaoi Con, for example, is 18+, and ID is checked at the door. So even though CR was there, they couldn't run a livestream with possibly under 18 viewers at home.

---

Whew, that turned into a bit of a long post, but again, keep them coming if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions!

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23 / M / The Land of the Free
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Posted 11/10/14
I think during the most recent livestream, I saw the word "Beta" somewhere on the livestream interface. Why is this?
Dragon
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Posted 11/11/14
Ah, that's because the dev staff don't feel that it's complete yet. It still has bugs, some of which were found and fixed during the last stream, and they're still implementing features.

The livestream interface is much lower priority than making sure the video streams work well on existing platforms and spreading to new platforms as they come out, so it'll probably remain beta for quite a while to come.
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Posted 11/11/14
Is there Volume control just for the stream? I can't remember.
Dragon
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Posted 11/11/14
There is - it's near the bottom of the video portion of the page, so if you hover there, it'll come up and let you turn it up or down, as well as the ABC button to turn the flying text on or off (some people like turning it off for screenshots)
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23 / M / The Land of the Free
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Posted 11/12/14
Sometimes, when I type something into the livestream, it doesn't appear. However, I can still see other people's text just fine. Why does this happen? Does this mean I've been banned?
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